7 May 2012

Airport upgrade in Solomons Munda area about to begin

1:26 pm on 7 May 2012

The New Zealand construction company contracted by the Solomon Islands government to improve transport links in the Western Province has started preparation works for the project which includes upgrading Munda airfield.

Downer New Zealand won the contract worth about 20 million US dollars, and has a set-up team on the ground, co-ordinating the arrival of equipment and carrying out consultation with local people about the scope of the work.

The project is supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and will include work on Nusatupe runway and key roading in the province.

Downer New Zealand's Craig Smart, who's arrived in the area, says the Munda airport upgrade will make a big difference.

"In particular the Munda airport will be upgraded to a much better standard and eventually it will be able to take much larger aircraft and be available as an alternative to Henderson Field at Honiara."

Craig Smart says they intend to employ local people throughout the project.